Photo courtesy of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.
The Third Annual Gathering of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) brought more than 400 mayors, city officials, and experts to Valencia, Spain from October 19 to 21, 2017.
Delegates from the 159 signatory cities engaged in debates, forums, and panels to exchange ideas and solutions to food-related issues relevant to urban environments. They also recognized a number of members with Milan Pact Awards for standout innovations and accomplishments.
The MUFPP became the first international protocol to focus on sustainable urban food policies upon its launch in 2015.
The pact “is proving to be an extraordinary means to promote collaboration among cities on food policies and sustainability,” according to Giuseppe Sala, the Mayor of Milan. “The joint commitment of Mayors signing the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact highlights our capacity to put forward innovative solutions to global economic, social and environmental challenges when tackling food issues. Cities are ready to play an important role in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda,” he said.
The MUFPP cities also launched the Valencia Appeal, calling on the UN Secretary and all UN agencies “to adopt multi-level approaches to food systems governance” that “include actors at sub-national levels.”
The winners of the 2017 Milan Pact Award monetary prizes of 15,000 Euros were the cities of Toronto, Canada and Antananarivo, Madagascar. Toronto’s prize recognized a city-level program called Community Food Works for Newcomers, a free training program to help refugees and other newcomers obtain certifications in food handling. Antananarivo’s prize recognized the city’s Urban Agriculture Programme, which promotes the installation of vegetable gardens in the city’s low-income neighborhoods.
The monetary prizes are designed to support the transfer of good practices from winning cities to other MUFPPP signatory cities. Baltimore chose to use the prize money it received in 2016 to share the importance of adopting a comprehensive food strategy through the US Conference of Mayors. Mexico City used the prize money it received in 2016 to share methods to improve the quality of school water storage with the city of Tegucigalpa.
Other cities that were recognized with non-monetary Milan Pact Awards included Austin, USA for its Healthy Food Access Initiative; Bruges, Belgium for its innovative approach to reducing food waste in health care centers; Copenhagen, Denmark for its organic conversion project; Dakar, Senegal for its Micro-Gardens Project; Ede, Netherlands for its political commitment to an integrated food governance network; and Ljubljana, Slovenia for its short food supply chain work.